April 25, 2024

Tim Cone clarifies that Justin Brownlee is "our guy" for Gilas and Bennie Boatwright is his "back up"

Tim Cone clarifies that Justin Brownlee is "our guy" for Gilas and Bennie Boatwright is his "back up"
Cone said Bennie Boatwright reminds him of a young Justin Brownlee. Photo (c) PBA

Ginebra coach Tim Cone has always had the eye to identify a talent. It didn’t take him long to spot San Miguel import Bennie Boatwright as such, who was hands down a cut above the rest during the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

Cone said the 6-foot-8 reinforcement, who helped the Beermen bag the Commissioner’s Cup championship. reminds him of a young Justin Brownlee. Well, only a few more inches taller.

So it’s a no-brainer that Cone wanted him to be part of Gilas Pilipinas program as naturalized player.

“I think he's a tremendous talent. He's got great size and he can play in and out. He's very versatile. Kind of reminds me of a young Justin, just like three or four inches taller,” he said. “We'll see. He's a young guy. But we have to get him into practice and get him into the system and everything else.”

[RELATED STORY: Bennie Boatwright a great addition to Gilas' naturalized pool, says SMB teammates June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter]

Boatwright’s naturalization is already in the works.

But the winningest coach in the PBA, which accepted the daunting task of leading the national team, clarified he knows very little about the talks between both parties.

“You know, I'm not the one to talk about this. You know who you should talk to? It's Richard. Coach Richard (del Rosario). I have not been a part of the conversation in terms of speaking to him and his agents and stuff. I'm hearing everything third-party. Richard's the one directly speaking to him,” said Cone, referring to Gilas team manager Richard del Rosario.

“But as far as I know we have an agreement that he's already submitting papers to naturalize. This could be a process. It's usually a long process -- three, four, maybe eight months, we don't know. Took Justin a long time to get his.”

He also made it clear Brownlee is still their guy.

“Without a doubt, and this is written in stone right now, Justin is our guy. And Bennie is going to be his back up. Just like Justin was the back-up to Jordan Clarkson in the World Cup. So we're gonna go with that at the moment,” he said.

“But again he's not even here yet. He's not even naturalized yet. I think he's in China at the moment. I haven't talked to him personally about it but Coach Richard has and he's also talked to their agents.”